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Planning A Brisket Smoke, got ????s

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Well I've reviewed the wealth of information contained within the forums on smoking briskets, and am trying to plan a timeline for next weekend smoke.

I know to cook the meet to Temp, not time, but I still want to get a good Idea when to throw it on and ways to cheat.

By cheating I mean that I don't want to have to tend a fire on my SnP overnight and be dead the next day when guest arrive. I found one post in the Brisket Sticky that peaked my interest but wanted to see if there were any other ideas. http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/for...7&postcount=49

I plan to feed 8-10 adults, hopefully at 6pm Sunday evening. I was planning on doing a Packer, though I'm not sure what size. I want to have plenty for everybody to eat (big eaters) and leftovers are fine. Regardless of how I do the brisket, I plan on smoking some ABT's and stuffed mushrooms as an app just prior to dinner.

I've got all day Saturday to prep / smoke and was planning on following OKJSmoker's method and smoke for several hours, foil then through in the oven @ ~170° while I sleep, then in the morning turn up the heat to ~220° untill she reaches finishing temp, then wrap it up and toss in the cooler.

So I guess my actual questions are as follows:

1: Does any one see a fundamental flaw with this approach? Not to many people commented on OKJsmoker's Post in the sticky. Tweaks, suggestions?

2: Would there be any advantage to 'finishing' it on the smoker, IE better bark build up, more smoke flavor? Any disadvantages to finishing on the smoker?

3: Kinda off the subject, but not completely. I have an SnP with simple mods (lowered smoke stack and a 'vegetable basket' for a charcoal pan. Much practice (and the charcoal pan) has led to my being able to maintain temp and only add lump every three hours consistently. If I were to add height to the basket, allowing for additional lump, could I potentially get it to ~6hrs between refueling? Again off topic, but if the answer is yes it would render the rest of the questions a moot point... kinda…

I’m sure I’ll think of more, but that seems like a good start.
post #2 of 8
Well, lots of questions and so many potential answers.
I'm sure I'll miss something or others will have more to add but let me try to get you started.
First about adding more lump, you will have to watch that, the more burning coals you have piled up the higher the temp is going to want to spike.
As for foiling and finishing in the oven (4 letter word) I do it sometimes with pulled pork but that gets wrapped in foil anyway so it really doesn't do much more than pick up additional heat and no more smoke flavor.
With a brisket you want that long smoke, briskets are one of those meats that do better with several hours of flowing smoke and will also develop a great bark which is essential.
Last time I did a brisket it was a 14# packer and took all of 14 hours to fully cook.
You could always go to bed early tonight and get up extra early tomorrow (3-4-5am) and throw it on then but depending on the size and how things go that might be pushing it a little bit.
What temp were you planning on taking it to, slice or pull? I'm assuming sliced?
What kind of wood are you going to use? Remember, brisket takes on a good heavy smoke really well, personally I would do hickory but if you don't mind mesquite that will work as well. Other woods are fine to use but you obviously wouldn't get that good smoke flavor.
post #3 of 8


If you can do with great flavor and lose the bark. you can smoke it in a foil pan . it picks up the smoke but roast in it's own juices. cooks in around half the time. I did my last packer this way . seperated the flat an point ,Cut the point in cubes and heavy on the sauce back on the smoker for 2.5 more hrs for burnt ends .Sliced the flat , Was one of the best tasteing briskets i've done. Just no bark on the sliced.
Just another way to do brisket.
post #4 of 8
Hmmm . . . well, lots of different ways to approach it but here are a few suggestions. Some of them won't help you this time around but long term they might.

If you don't want to tend the fire in the SnP long term, get yourself and Afterburner H from www.gassmoker.com. I have one in my SnP and it works great. I actually used in on my first overnight brisket smoke.

Or you could build a UDS. I routinely put a brisket on mine at around midnight, get the temp dialed in and go to bed. Get up about 6 am and temp is still rock solid. Cooking at around 240° a 12 pound packer will usually finish at around 3 pm the next day in this scenario. A UDS will run 16+ hours on a single load of fuel and once the temp is stable, they will just chug along unless someone lifts the lid or changes the valve position.

Or you could do a higher heat method like Nutzman did.


As far as making your basket bigger to extend the burn time I don't think that will work with an SnP. The problem is the SnP is too drafty and it is hard to do long "Minion Method" type burns in them because too much air gets to the firebox. You'd probably end up with the whole basket of charcoal lit and the temps would skyrocket.

Good luck.

post #5 of 8
One thing you can do on your offset is to have a cooking partner and take shifts. One will sleep while one tends the fire.

This is what we, the wife and I, plan to do when we host a family dinner later in Sept.
post #6 of 8
Cooking partner?? Wife tend the smoker in the middle of the night??? You're kidding, right?? biggrin.gif

Just joking . . . you're wife sounds very cool, Rick. PDT_Armataz_01_34.gif My wife would not be interested in that idea at all.

Oh . . . and another suggestion, FCS. Get yourself a Maverick ET-73. It's a dual probe remote thermometer with hi/lo temp alarms. It can alert you when it is time to add more fuel. A great tool for the overnight smoke when you would like to get some sleep.

post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 
Yeah, I'm afraid I'm with DDave on this one. My wife is practically pyrophobic. It took me a month to get her too cook on a gas stove. I can't lay to much blame though, we did lose our last home to a fire...

Otherwise that would work great. Our sleep cycles are staggered as she has to be to work @ 6am during the week, and I stay up late playing on the computer & watching copious amounts of SciFi. I could stoke the fire around 3-4, and she could stoke at again around 7, and make sure I'm up before 10.

Fire it up: I was thinking of using mesquite. I plan to slice. As to going to bed early and getting up @ 3-4am I'm just programmed differntly. I typically go to bed ~2, get up for work @ 7. It takes a few days of reprogramming when I need to get up early...

Eman: I did read a discussion about using a pan, and that's something else I'm considering. I like a good bark, but this time through I'm concerned with finishing on time and general flavor. Do your sear the brisket first with this method?

I guess I'll try working on the wife as far as fire partner for now. Just bought the SnP around 7/4, so building a UDS or adding an after burner would be met by "Why didn't you think about that before you bought the thing?", or various colorful variations depending on the lunar cycle.....
post #8 of 8


I allways sear big cuts of meat after they have sat rubbed overnight. both beef an pig.
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